Hollow Mini-Mendel

by MarcusWolschon, published

Hollow Mini-Mendel by MarcusWolschon Apr 14, 2010



Hollow Mini-Mendel by MarcusWolschon is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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This is a Mini-Mendel ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1745 ) where many parts have been shelled (hollowed out) to 1mm (some 1.5 or 2mm for better printability).
This shall allow to use even less material in printing and apply the material where it counts for the mechanical structure (2-3 shell layers but very sparse infill).
Where appropriate I added supported and teardrops to make the shelled parts printable.
The idea is to supply the enormous demand for Mendel-parts by producing batches of hollowed Mini-Mendels very fast and with very little materisl. Then to give these to the people to be filled with Epoxy, so they can print full Mendel-parts and sell the MiniMendel to the next person or to just stay with the MiniMendel as it is.


  • 35977 seconds = 9h 59min 37 seconds for a complete Mini-Mendel
  • theory: 101.97 cubic centimeter of material = 110 gramm ob ABS (1/3 of the solid Mini-Mendel and 1/10 of a regular Mendel)
    (calculated using Skeinforge with 0.4mm layer-thickness at 32mm/s)
  • actual print: 152g of ABS including rafts
  • Build documentation: http://objects.reprap.org/wiki/Mini-Mendel

(Sadly the license must be GPL 2 as the Mini Mendel is GPL2 instead of a license appropriate to hardware-designs.)

changes of version 1.2:

  • more parts shelled
  • some bugfixes
  • more supports to make the parts stronger and easier to print
  • exported as STL
  • exported as Solidworks
  • exported to ACIS R19 (.sat)
  • exported as STEP

changes of version 1.2.2:

  • all STL-part oriented properly for printing
  • all STL-files checked through Netfabb auto-repair (no issues found)

changes of version 1.3:

  • x-carriage-lower-left_1off was missing holes on the ends of the teardrops.
  • thicker shells on the roof of wide horizontal holes
  • center STL of z-bar-top-clamp_2 on print-bed
  • some parts are missing in the STL or had the incorrect number of copies.
    They are now correctly named "_Xoff" in the STL-files (not the solid model)


  • center STL of z-bar-top-clamp_2 on print-bed

The original files can be opened and exported in Alibre Design (trial version. Too many parts in assembly for the free version.). For other solid modelers exports as Step, SolidWorks and Acis are provided.


  • print (chosen temperature should be adequate to allow 1-2cm of overhangs)
  • fill the more fragile parts with epoxy-resin or similar (make sure it is thick enough to not leak between cracks)
  • add electronics, extruder, stepper-motors, screws, bearings and print-plate
    See http://objects.reprap.org/wiki/Mini-Mendel for parts needed and sources.

Forum-Thread in the RepRap-Forum:
Forum-Thread in the BfB-Forum:

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A warning in case anyone else attempts to print the HollowMiniMendel-STL-v1.3.rar files: this version is not usable as it stands. The
a href="http://garyhodgson.com/misc/HollowHuxley/Screenshot-MeshLab%20v1.3.0.pnghttp://garyhodgson.com/misc/Ho..."
z axis motor mount is mirrored
so the rods do not align and the idler has a
a href="http://garyhodgson.com/misc/HollowHuxley/z-leadscrew-base-tensioner_2__Skeinforge.pnghttp://garyhodgson.com/misc/Ho..."
serious overhang
. Also, Marcus has said this development is abandoned.

I also uploaded a single sheet set to http://www.shapeways.comwww.shapeways.com to see how much it would cost to get them to print it... You will be shocked... or at least I was...


I'm not shocked at all.

290eur is a very fair price to have this 3D-printed.

However I advise to get a solid MiniMendel with only the larger parts shelled and supported printed.

Just have to say: Thank you! Getting this as SolidWorks File is really nice so i can adapt some of the parts as i like them.
Kudos for the work! Think this is something i will try to print on my CupCake once it is up and running. :)

The solidworks-files of the regular MiniMendel are public too.
With the hollow one we found the clamps to be too difficult to fill with epoxy.
So they will probably be replaced by the regular, solid variation again.

As I already have a 3d-printer, I am putting the first printed set up for sale:

If the part show any shortcomming vs. the regular ones, I
´ll replace them. So you are never worse off then with the regular MiniMendel -parts.

printing the first parts:


  • single shelled object (I
    ´ll fill the final objectswith epoxy)
  • The total build time is 860 s.
  • The total distance extruded is 15668.4 mm.
  • The total distance traveled is 20595.5 mm.
  • The volume extruded is 3.1 cc.

printing runs fine. (http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?151,43636,43637#msg-43637)http://forums.reprap.org/read....
Even being single-walled the parts are much stronger then anticipated!

I uploaded new STL-files with all parts oriented properly to be skeinforged and printed directly.

70% of the part are actually printed and counting.
I also updated the text with some numbers I found on how much material a Mendel and MiniMendel uses in comparison to this one.

Great initiative!
I'm really curious what the volumetric gain is in terms of thermoplastics used...
(not really identical to the STL volume, so we might need to skeinforge it all)

thats an nice idea and i would print the parts but i dont have Alibre. Could upload stl files please then i could test the files

Already done and upgraded to Version 1.2 with better supports and some small bigfixes.

very nice thank you i would print it in one hour when i am at home

The STL-files are not turned yet.
Most of the times it
´s obvious hat side is up. If not, make sure the tip
of the teardrops points upwards.

Please give some feedback about the printed objects.
1mm wall-thickness was just a guess.